On Casino Royale, my favorite Bond film that doesn't star Sean Connery.
1) Even though he trusted and fell for a woman, we have to remember that this was Bond learning to be what he is in most of the movies, and that is, a love 'em and leave 'em guy. I thought it was interesting to see the transformation.
2) Yeah, it's updated for modern audiences. I'm not enough of a book snob to care if they change the type of poker rules they're using, so long as it's still played with an actual deck of cards. Also, I have no clue what the rules of Baccarat are, and it helps to be able to know what's going on. On the other hand, I don't live under a rock, so I know (sorta) how to play Texas Hold 'Em.
3) Bond in this movie is more Bond-like than anybody since Sean Connery. He doesn't smile. He's smoothe. The whole thing isn't tongue-in-cheek. He's clever. He's tough. I, for one, was happy to see that the movie involved some, you know, spying, rather than centering around a ludicrous end fight sequence. While I still enjoyed the Brosnan Bonds, they share more with xXx than with the Connery Bonds. This one returns to its roots.
If you're a book snob, admit it, and learn to live with the fact that you will never enjoy a movie based on a book you have read. It's a hard life, but the sooner you admit it, the better.